The nations of France, New Zealand and the United States are represented in the crew on board the helicopter frigate HMAS Toowoomba during Exercise LA PEROUSE in the Indian Ocean.
In what is becoming a common sight across fleet units, serving members from other navies are working closely with their Australian compatriots at sea and ashore.
Toowoomba’s diverse crew has been enhanced with the addition of Lieutenant Joseph Pottratz of the United States Navy, Ensigne Louis-Marie Sejeau from the French Navy and Sub Lieutenant Stephen Barry from the Royal New Zealand Navy.
Lieutenant Pottratz is currently on exchange with the RAN Submarine Force based in HMAS Stirling and has been loaned to Toowoomba for Exercise LA PEROUSE.
“This has been a terrific opportunity managing submarine warfare training from a surface platform and working with the submarine HMAS Collins and HMAS Toowoomba during the exercise,” Lieutenant Pottratz said.
Ensigne Sejeau has joined Toowoomba from FNS Latouche-Treville, one of the French Units contributing to Carrier Task Group 473 in the exercise. His language skills and insight to the Task Group have been invaluable to the success of the exercise.
Sub Lieutenant Barry is on exchange with the RAN as part of his Warfare Officer training. Working towards his Platform Endorsement, he has been fortunate to spend time in HMAS Stuart prior to his current posting.
“This is a great ship and crew, I am learning so much from this experience,” Sub Lieutenant Barry said.
Exercise LA PEROUSE is centred on the French-led Charles de Gaulle Carrier Task Group.
The exercise is comprised of two Royal Australian Navy units, Toowoomba and Collins, along with vessels from France, Japan and the United States.